Lorenzo Insigne inspired Napoli to a hard-fought 3-1 win away to Atalanta to go joint top of Serie A with AC Milan.
The home side, the only Italian team remaining in European competition, dominated possession throughout but lacked a cutting edge and found themselves two goals down by the break.
Against the run of play, Luciano Spalletti’s side, who were without top scorer Victor Osimhen, were awarded a penalty following a VAR review after Dries Mertens was tripped by goalkeeper Juan Musso.
Insigne, who is joining Toronto FC next season, stepped up and fire the penalty past Musso. And the Italy striker set up the second with a clever quickly taken free-kick to setup Matteo Politano to volley the ball in from inside the box.
Atalanta, who had Duvan Zapata on the bench for the first time since early February, brought on Aleksei Miranchuk and former Chelsea player Jeremie Boga at the break.
And their possession eventually paid off around the hour mark when Miranchuk’s cross was headed in by Marten de Roon to reduce the deficit.
Atalanta continued to dominate the possession in the closing stages but were undone again with a counter attack which allowed substitutes Hirving Lozano to set up Elif Elmas to seal victory.
The result moves Spalletti’s side level on points with AC Milan who face Bologna on Monday night while Atalanta remain sixth.
TALKING POINT – VITAL WIN FOR NAPOLI IN THE TITLE RACE
If Napoli win the Scudetto this will be one of the games they will surely look back on. With their backs to the wall throughout in front of a hostile crowd in Bergamo, where they have a poor record, they managed to scrape together three points to put the pressure back on AC Milan.
And Spalletti’s side have a decent-looking run in with their toughest fixture at Jose Mourinho’s Roma on April 18.
MAN OF THE MATCH – LORENZO INSIGNE (NAPOLI)
In the absence of Victor Osimhen, the striker stepped up with two clinical moments to help the Neopolitans to their first win in Bergamo in more than three years. The 30-year-old put away a penalty early on but the moment of the match was his quick free-kick to set up Politano which was straight off the training ground.
ATALANTA: Musso 5, Scalvini 6, Palomino 5, Djimsiti 6; Hateboer 5, De Roon 7, Freuler 6, Zappacosta 6; Koopmeiners 6; Malinovskyi 5, Muriel 6. Subs: Miranchuk 8, Boga 6, Cisse n/a, Pasalic n/a.
NAPOLI: Ospina 6; Zanoli 6, Juan Jesus 5, Koulibaly 5, Mario Rui 5; Anguissa 5, Lobotka 5, Zielinski 5; Politano 7, Mertens 6, Insigne 8. Subs: Elmas 7, Lozano n/a, Ruiz n/a, Malcuit n/a.
14′ – GOAL FOR NAPOLI! Mertens runs onto a through ball and is tripped by the ‘keeper. A corner is given but VAR is taking a look and a penalty is awarded. Insigne hammers the penalty in, the ‘keeper went the right way but it was too powerful.
37′- GOAL FOR NAPOLI! From the quick free-kick, Insigne’s delivery is volleyed in by Politano. Such a clever goal.
58′ – GOAL FOR ATALANTA! Marunchak’s deft cross finds an unmarked De Roon and it’s 1-2.
81’ – GOAL FOR NAPOLI! On the counter attack, Lozano feeds Elmas who coolly slots the ball into the net.